Gandhi Jayanti is a national holiday celebrated in India to mark the occasion of the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the "Father of the Nation". The festival of Gandhi Jayanti is observed in India, on October 2nd the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, with reverence all over the country. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi,also known as 'Bapu' or 'Father of the nation', the apostle of peace was born on 2 October 1869 at Porbandar in Gujarat.
The United Nations General Assembly announced on 15 June 2007 that it adopted a resolution which declared that 2 October will be celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence.
Gandhi had a natural love for 'truth' and 'duty'. With his complete dedication and confidence, Gandhi freed India from the British Rule and proved the world that freedom can be achieved with non-violence. Even today his teachings are encouraged to stay away from violence and find peaceful solutions to conflicts. For Gandhi, Truth and Non-violence was his entire philosophy of life. Mahatma Gandhi was a man with simple tastes and values. With keeping that in mind and giving him full honour and respect the festivities on this day are very less.
About Mahatma Gandhi (Oct. 2, 1869- Jan, 30 1948)
Mahatma Gandhi was a national icon who led the struggle for India's independence from British colonial rule, empowered by tens of millions of common Indians. He was a man who did what he said and led an exemplary and a transparent life.
Born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, a small town on the Gujarat coastline. He was the son of Karamchand Gandhiand Putlibai, Karamchand's fourth wife. He was married to a Kasturba Gandhi at the age of 13 and had four kids. He studied law in U.K and practiced law in South Africa. But he left his profession and returned to India to join the Indian freedom struggle. Throughout his life he opposed any form of terrorism or violence, instead using only the highest moral standards. His philosophy of nonviolence, for which he coined the term satyagraha, has influenced national and international nonviolent resistance movements to this day. From the time he took charge of the freedom struggle in 1918 he was lovingly called as "Mahatma" meaning "Great Soul" by millions of Indians. By means of nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi helped bring about India's independence from British rule, inspiring other colonial peoples to work for their own independence and ultimately dismantling the British Empire. Gandhi often stated that his principles were simple; drawn from traditional Hindu beliefs: truth (satya) and nonviolence (ahimsa).
Famous Quotes of Mahatma Gandhi:
"Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love."
"Ahimsa means not to injure any creature by thought, word or deed, not even to the supposed advantage of this creature."
"I claim no perfection for myself. But I do claim to be a passionate seeker after Truth, which is but another name for God."
"I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could."
"Poverty is but the worst form of violence."
Prayer meetings were an important part of Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba's life. All religions and faiths were given equal importance in the daily recitation of prayers. The prayers always culminated by proclaiming "Although we call you by different names, you are One, Give us the wisdom to understand this, O Lord.
Gandhi Jayanti or Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti is observed every year as a national holiday to commemorate the birth of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (October 2, 1869 - January 30, 1948). His non-violence or satyagraha continues to influence political leaders and movements till date. The celebration and essence of Gandhi Jayanti is not restricted within India and also observed by the United Nations as the International Day of non-violence that aims to disseminate his philosophy, principle and believe in non-violence through proper education and public awareness.
Celebration of Gandhi Jayanti is also a moment to relive Mohandas Gandhi's life and contribution in India's Independence. Born in a small coastal town Porbandar in Gujarat, Gandhi married Kasturbai Makhanji at the age of 13. His childhood memories and experiences are vividly depicted by him in his autobiography ‘My experiments with truth’. Gandhi at the age of 18 went to England to study law and returned to India in 1915. After his homecoming, he led nationwide stir for achieving Sawaraj, abolition of social evils, empowering women rights and improving economic conditions of peasants and farmers. He further strengthened his movement against the British Raj and led Indians in protesting Dandi March Salt in 1930 that was later followed by the popular Quit India in 1942 calling British to leave India.
At Raj Ghat, New Delhi, and across India, people gather to observe Gandhi Jayanti in innovative ways that includes offering flowers on Gandhi's pictures, statues and singing his favourite devotional song Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram.
The government offices, banks, schools and post offices remain closed on Gandhi Jayanti to pay homage to 'Father of the Nation'. Additionally, as a tribute to this great soul, the Indian government mint rupee notes and also issue postage stamp depicting Mahatma Gandhi's photo. In May 19, 2011 at Geneva, a 1948 10 Rupee Mahatma Gandhi stamp was auctioned for a whopping price of US $205,000 making it a world record as the most pricey modern postal stamp from any country.
The significance of Gandhi Jayanti celebration transcends beyond commemorating Mahatma Gandhi's birth and his life as followers renounce violence and entirely devote themselves to Gandhi's philosophy and principles of Ahimsa i.e living a life by following non-violence.
The celebration of Gandhi Jayanti traditionally kicks off by singing prayers, offering flowers, lighting candles and garlanding Gandhiji's photo or statue. Mahatma Gandhi's life and principles has inspired lives of all ages but it will be noticed as the biggest change this year. For the first time in the history of India, Gandhi Jayanti will not be a holiday for government staff who will have to report to work to take the 'Swachch Shapath'. Minister Narendra Modi is already to celebrate this year Gandhi Jayanti with a grand transformation. Modi government at the centre cancelled holiday and asked all government employees to be present in office on the day which is generally a national holiday in India. The Centre had earlier declared Oct 2 (Mahatma Gandhi's birthday) as compulsory holiday.
All government employees will have to be present in office on Oct 2, Gandhi Jayanti as Modi has been scheduled to launch 'clean India' campaign, and take the cleanliness pledge, a directive issued by the Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth on Wednesday, Sept 24.
The employees will be administered 'Swachhata Shapath' (pledge of cleanliness) in government offices, public functions and events on Oct 2, the directive said. The cleanliness drives led by senior officials will be undertaken in all government and public offices. The Prime Minister will on Oct 2 launch 'clean India' campaign, aimed at cleaning the country. There will be a special cleanliness drive in government offices from Thursday till Oct 2 to get rid of clutter, garbage and weed out old and unwanted things from government office premises. Modi had on Aug 15 announced the launch of the campaign.
"I come from a poor family, I have seen poverty. The poor need respect and it begins with cleanliness. I, therefore, have to launch a 'clean India' campaign from Oct 2, 2014 and carry it forward in four years," Modi had said in his speech on Independence Day from the Red Fort. The Cabinet Secretary had earlier also written to secretaries of central government departments pressing the need for clean working spaces. "There are certain offices where construction material is lying for years. In some office premises, unused or junked vehicles are also parked.
The departments have already been asked to make sure that no clutter, unused vehicles, rubbles or building material are lying in the office premises. There may be surprise inspections to ensure the effectiveness of cleanliness drive. Senior officials have sprung into action and instructed their concerned supervisors to ensure that the office premises are clean.
If you are keen to explore more about Gandhi Jayanti, then Gandhi Jayanti 2014 is the correct time to become familiar with Gandhi’s everlasting and priceless philosophy, and also his role as an architect of Indian Independence.